Imagine someone walks into a mall and blows themselves up.

They kill several people in the process.

Now imagine who is responsible.

Now imagine the ideology that drove that individual. Odds are they killed in the name of religion.

If muslims don’t have a sense of ownership of the acts of their terrorist cousins then all other steps and well meant words won’t make much difference. It is time for the muslim community to own up and abandon their semi-literate and intellectually dishonest excuses. Give up the sanctimonious claims of victimhood. Own this problem and fix it. Stop the denial and stop appeasing these religious terrorists.

The denial in the islamic community of the role of their ideology in these crimes has persisted in the face of overwhelming evidence. It is only in very recent years that isolated members of the muslim community have started to publicly state its opposition to the violent actions of its followers.

 Take ownership and the world will support you.

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I dont know that it is as hard as it might seem.

Surely the first step is simply accepting that there is a problem. The second step is acknowledging that the muslim community has a role (and probably the greatest role) in providing a solution.

The solution is the rejection of violence.

Clearly and unequivocally condemn violence of any sort and for any reason.

- reject the many excuses and justifications for these violent acts.

- actively discourage and question those who support those acts.

Not that hard really when you think about it.

"the Muslim community". Can you explain who this is, and where they can be contacted?

@David B.:

"...condemn violence of any sort and for any reason."

I accept the notion that violence is required in self-defense and that's a good reason.

"...reject the many excuses and justifications for these violent acts."

As I indicated above self-defense is JUSTIFIED.

You don't have a reply to my question? It's fine to rail at abstract 'groups' but it doesn't get us anywhere.

On any view; if the muslim community wants to stop people killing in the name of their religion they are going to need to step up and assume some responsibility for the solution.

Combining Davis' well informed post with my own (wrt who "should" be assigned the responsibility of openly owning their religion), I, too, find it difficult to lay it all at the feet of people who are either suppressed by their theocracy or culture. That's why I mentioned Saudi Arabia... if any of us can actually DO anything to fight extremism, it's 1) our secularized countries putting pressure on theocratic leadership and 2) advocating for and even defending moderate Muslims under the thumb of strident Islamists.

In both cases, the only solution that can stick is secularism, and note that secularism (somewhat like atheism, but more broadly) advocates for both freedom of and from religion.

A billion Muslims are on the sidelines that could be openly condemning (e.g.) Wahhabiism, or the Saudi Arabian theocracy, but even they are at risk. The West has taken on the battle against terrorism, but many Muslim-dominated countries portray the West as another enemy with a potentially world-dominating agenda. Issues that seem clear to you and I cannot even be discussed openly and clearly in even many of the more "moderate" theocracies.

The only meaningful question in the long run (to me, ymmv) is what can WE can do to turn things around. Things we've tried so far have made things worse, but even here in the USA, if we express that sentiment, we're accused of hating America or just acting out an extreme, PC-left perspective.

If I could push one button that instantly eliminates terrorists, I would. Just ratcheting up the fear, hate, and knee-jerk reactions so far only digs our hole deeper, in addition to destroying any positive influence secularism may have. A billion moderate Muslims can easily see this war as a war between religions, and our "straight-talking", loudmouth Christian politicians are part of the problem.

It's taken me years to come to this conclusion. At this time, I feel the Saudi Arabian theocracy is the largest contributor to extremism and its resulting terrorism. And Trump just signed the largest arms deal in history with them. He actually said a few good things for a change while he was there, but who knows what he really means? Perhaps we'll be able to use the arms deal as leverage to influence how they use or don't use those weapons? Meanwhile, it's perpetually entangled with issues of Iran and Shiia Islam, and Israel, and so many other complications.

(I'm not arguing against moderates stepping up to the plate. I'm saying it's not a simple or easy project. Notice how the grass-roots-initiated Arab Spring has largely failed, even making some situations worse than before.)

@Pope:

"That's why I mentioned Saudi Arabia.."

The 911 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and not a single bomb was dropped on that nation...I'd call that a missed opportunity. 

I've been reading that Islam should be considered as a "religious empire" rather than a religion.  From the beginning, its modus operandi has been to invade other countries and convert them to Islam.  So there are two parts: "religious" and "empire". 

Maybe this is why, to us, being an ordinary Muslim looks like being in the army, since the religion is so strict and buttoned up. 

Simon, this may have been the case 1300 years ago, but it is no longer the case. An Empire requires some sense of continuity, a clear and centralised leadership, an ever evolving ideology which is diseminated throughout the empire, the primacy of one particular culture over the others etc.

This is simply not the case in the Muslim world. There is no centre of the muslim world. The closest you could get to a centre of sorts is Mecca which is the direction people pray and the destination of pilgrimages. But there is no leader who holds court in Mecca. There are no decrees that come from Mecca which politicians or clerics in Senegal or in Indonesia are expected to follow. No one pays a tribute or promises alegiance to the empire.

Nor is there any common ideology other than "respecting the five pilars of islam" of which those in Albania or in Kazakhstan don't put much effort into it. They are people who could care less if their neighbours adopted their religion and if anything they won't be torn up if their children are secularised.

No one person speaks for the religion. There is no pope, though there may be a religious leader in individual countries (and certainly not in all of them). These leaders may meet up from time to time but the ideological path that muslims takes depend entirely on their country and the sect they belong to. Some (quite the minority) do believe that spreading Islam an implementing Sharia is the highest goal. Others are more concerened with economic and political problems and what time they should pray, rather than what bordering countries believe in.

This is not in any way an empire. It's a very loose connection between highly diverse peoples in countries with radically different ideologies and no Emperor nor any broad agenda.

Surely Isis have taken it on themselves to enact this empire-building narrative, but in a crazy extreme way.  They're like Mohammed on crack. 

I have a crazy extreme idea: Instead of killing ISIS, let's round them up and accumulate some hoards (say) at GITMO, then parachute them into strategic areas of North Korea.

Whoops, on second thought... instead of fighting to the death, they could well collaborate on a bit of nuclear and chemical weapon proliferation. So um, hey CIA/NSA/DHS, I was just kidding!

No. I'd prefer that we round up ALL groups of sociopathic psychopaths and drop them all off on Pitcairn Island (it is remote and was the location of chronic child abuse).

They can test out their new ideologies on one another and set up whatever -ism or -cracy they like. We can set up hidden camaras all around the island and human kind can finally watch, in real time, the sucess of "radical ideas + frequent human cost" is like. I suppose with so many ideologies that require "human sacrafices for the better good" and so few people to be sacraficed....it will be a show much more entertaining than Game of Thrones or a Quentin Terantino film or World War Z. The world enjoys great TV and sheds the worst cruel troublemakers all at the same time! And you never know, just maybe humans will become a little less apt to jump on a populist bandwagon!

Its a bit more complex than a guy on one side of the word taking responsibility for what another guy, on the OTHER side of the world does, just because you arbitrarily assigned him the responsibility.

An individual Muslim doesn't have to take the blame for what another Muslim did, independently of his influence.

YOU decided that everyone in a group is connected and their brother's keeper.

Someone ELSE might decide YOU are in a group THEY decided needed to all be their brother's keeper.

For example, you are a HUMAN....and, as a HUMAN, as you KNOW there are OTHER HUMANS doing bad things...why are YOU not fighting to defeat all the bad HUMANS.

As a HUMAN, own this problem, and FIX IT!

:P

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